The Oliver's Madhouse

When Life Isn't Complicated Enough

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (Pelvic Girdle Pain)


This condition has now been in my life for approximately 3 years and it’s the one thing that reduces me to tears on a daily basis. I developed this condition in my second trimester of pregnancy with Joshua and throughout I was told this condition will rectify itself after birth.

My son is now nearly 21 months old and this condition is still with me and is more painful than ever with no signs of reprieve.

SPD is not only a pregnancy related condition it can be developed in men and women that have previously had a fall or damage to the pelvic area.  Although the majority of cases are brought on by pregnancy hormones, which work to loosen the ligament that holds the pubic bones together (Pubic Symphysis) in order to allow babys head to pass through the pelvis when giving birth.

In my case I had trauma to the pelvis a few years back along with extra weight before my pregnancy. That added to excessive weight gain throughout my pregnancy and the hormone changes in pregnancy .. bingo.. unstable pelvis at the sacroiliac joints and the Pubic Symphysis joint.

I was signed off work by my 7th month of pregnancy due to the condition as I worked at a desk all day and found it unbearable to sit for any length of time; I was having physio weekly and was advised that unless I gave up work and started to rest more I would damage my pelvis permanently.

I wore the pregnancy support belt I was given day and night along with 4 layers of bandaging I wore all the time to try and correct the instability in my pelvis. Nothing worked; I barely slept and was in constant pain.

After my son’s birth by elective section I was looking forward to the pain subsiding and for things to get back to normal but with each passing month my hope disappeared. I was informed by the physio at my local hospital that I needed physio 2-3 times per week but they could only fit me in once every 3-4 weeks.

Running out of options I visited a chiropractor and found this and acupuncture helped for the following 2 days after an appointment, but at a cost of £30 per visit and 1-2 visits per week we could only afford this for 6 months so I have now been without physio or a chiropractor for nearly 2 years

Joshua slept through the night from 5 weeks old and even now I do not sleep solidly through the night as I wake up 3-6 times a night with excruciating pain in one or both of my hips and or legs. My hips, pelvis and lower back all crack and crunch and I can feel both sides of my pelvis moving independently.

Last January I finally had my appointment come through after waiting months and months to see a specialist at the hospital.  On seeing the Consultant he sent me for X-rays and confirmed that I had this condition (really, I never would of guessed) and was told to lose some weight and once I am in my 40’s they would consider me for surgery (I am only 33 currently) He also told me that the surgery is not always effective and at only a 50% success rate it may not be worthwhile doing.

I feel like I have a body of a 90 year old and although I am doing everything I can to help myself I am increasingly disheartened and I am beginning to think things will never improve.

I do have incredibly low periods with this condition whereI can’t stand to keep taking all the pain killers but know if I don’t I could have days where I am in such immense pain it hurts to make any movement at all.

I took voluntary redundancy last year from work while on maternity leave as I knew that sitting at my desk will be excruciating and I would not of been able to maintain it in the long term. This does get me down thinking about the pain I will endure if and when I have to return back to work as some days I can’t even manage the most basic of household duties without bursting into tears.

I want to play with my kids; I want to carry out normal life without having to fit in things while I am having a good day.

Don’t get me wrong I know there are people out there that are far worse off than me and I try to think about this when I am getting down, although it doesn’t always work at keeping me positive.

I cannot tell you how debilitating this condition actually is, it affects every aspect of my life and that of my family. Maybe one day I will be old enough for the surgery and my health and quality of life will improve, until then I will continue down the weight loss route and keep taking the pain killers.

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When 4 Became 3 ..

This one is straight from the heart and even includes tears as I write.                                                      

My daughter and I have over recent months had a very love hate relationship. I love to nag she loves to hate. Now being 11 she has the pre-teen hormones and recently starting secondary school to boot!

Now what most of you don’t know is Beth and I left her dad when she was 6 months and lived in a Women’s Aid Refuge, we picked ourselves up dusted ourselves down and moved onwards and upwards. We were so close from day one we were a team, She was my sole existence for being, now it is both of my children.

Bethany always craved a family and we finally found ourselves a part of a family over the last 3 years and have loved it. She cried with excitement when she found out she was getting a sibling.

Beth has always maintained a relationship with her Dad and I am a firm believer in Mums and Dads even if not together having a part in their child’s life. This has not been easy by any stretch and many times I have gone above and beyond to help maintain the contact between her and her Dad.

The last few months have been heart breaking, Beth has been so unhappy at times and very angry with all of us. She is constantly craving attention and has done some horrendous things to get it. Not only has she had pre-teen hormones to deal with she has had a constant guilty feeling over not living with her dad. Her dad has from a very young age has been telling her when she was 10 she could decide where she wants to live. (This was never discussed with me)

Her Dad married last year and his wife has 2 children who live with them, both girls, one Beth’s age and one slightly older. Beth constantly looks up to the girls and although one week they fight like cat and dog and the next they are best friends. Her Dad and his family have recently moved into a very large house in which Beth will have a big new room. Money has never been an issue for her Dad unlike us who although not skint we do have to be careful and we have to budget.

Today has been one of the most traumatic days of my life as Beth has decided to go and live with her Dad, and has gone. Although I know she thinks this is what she wants, selfishly I think she has made a massive mistake; my heart has broken and will never be fixed. My life for the last 11 years has been being her mum and now I am not. It won’t be me anymore that does the mum things with her.

In my selfish thoughts right now I hope that this is all about the materialistic things an 11 year old would love and he Dad can give her and that she will see that this is not all life is about. I hope against hope that she will miss me as much as I am missing her.

I have seen my daughter through her first everything, teeth, tears and schools to name a few. I have held her hand in hospital when she was very poorly, and wiped her sick off her face in the early hours of the morning when the dreaded lurgy took hold to many times to remember. I have for the last 11 years existed solely to help her become an independent, bright, intelligent girl and now I am lost. 

I know I still have my little boy and I love him to the moon and back, but I still feel incomplete without her here. I feel like only half of my heart is working and I am finding it difficult to breath.

I have spent the day thinking if onlys and that I let her down in some way. I know some of you will think that I was wrong to let her go (I am thinking that right now too) but all I have ever wanted to do was to make her happy and if this was the only way…. I had to let her go.

I can only sit here now and hope that she sees life will not be any greener, nor will materialistic possessions replace quality time that she needs.

I sit and hope….


I Am No Victim …. I Am a Survivor

Over recent months I have had such an overwhelming sense of wholeness and have spent some time reflecting on parts of my past that have made me who I am and made me the person i am today.

This story starts after the breakdown of my 1st marriage in 2007. It was a scary time for me and Bethany. Although my husband and I had been together 5 years we only managed 9 months married. Now don’t get me wrong we didn’t hate each other or have affairs, we simply were unhappy and decided to call it a day. My ex hubby stayed in what was our matrimonial home and I bought another house and moved away

After the split I was working full time and found I was quite isolated so joined some on line dating sites. Now don’t get me wrong I met some lovely people and have even remained friends with a couple of nice guys so that in itself was not the problem!

In October of 2007 I met a guy and fell completely head over heels (gone was all sanity) a few months in, he started to give me snippets of information about his past life but nothings concrete, I was lead to believe that he had had some issues in the past and he was trying to turn his life around (Where were the hills, that I should be running for?) Firstly his 2 children, who I was informed had been adopted to another couple as he and his ex-partner were too young to cope (I pulled out violins) 7 months in I was told he had a fight with another bloke in town and he was on probation (where were the alarm bells?) Next came the past problems with drugs and his insistence on wanting to get clean (what did I know I have never taken drugs nor would I want too). In my naive love sick state I thought I could help, I thought he could change and that he wanted too, I genuinely thought this was love.

Looking back in hindsight over the time we were together I cannot believe that any sane, rational, sensible human being would not have seen what was coming, yet I didn’t  I had meetings with his Probation Worker and Drugs Councillors as I wanted this relationship to be out in the open and I wanted to make it work and I wanted to help him.

At about this point in time things seriously started to change, he was back on drugs, drinking, selling anything he owned for money (and anything he could get his hands on that was mine) he  also very aggressive. The thing that affected me most of all I have to say was the lying. He would say he was somewhere and then would either trip himself up once sober again or he would get caught out. He was seeing numerous people behind my back but at by this time my confidence was so low it became the norm, however he denied it adamantly. I really started to begin to think that this was all my fault and that I was completely nuts.

During this relationship there had started to be an escalation to the violence at first it was a shove or push then it became scary he was increasingly hurting me and destroying my home by kicking in doors, punching walls and he even bite my face.  I was terrified but didn’t know how to get out. I was so convinced that my family and friends wouldn’t want to know me and they too would think this was all my fault I was trapped.

The final act came on September 5th 2009. After attending my very close friend’s wedding. On returning home I realised I couldn’t find my phone so I woke my then boyfriend to ask him if he had seen it. I was then pushed down the stairs from top to bottom (I lost consciousness at some point) on coming too I was then kicked in the head while I was on the floor. As my head was bleeding profusely I knew I needed to get out so I crawled through my living room on my hands and knees; I found the house phone and called 999. (I was so scared that he would wake up from the sofa in which he was sleeping and see what I had done so I hid it under a sofa cushion).  I tried to get out but found i was locked in and he had taken my car keys, house keys and purse.

At this point he woke and realised I was trying to flee, I was then smothered with a pillow. In my head something clicked and I knew if I didn’t fight I would die. I fought and screamed and he finally released me and went to the kitchen. I heard the cutlery draw open and knew what he was going to do: he was going to stab me. I then ran for the front living room window but with it being a bay window and I am only a shorty I couldn’t get out so I opened the window and screamed like I have never screamed before. He was pulling my legs trying to get me back onto the floor but thankfully my neighbours heard. My neighbours phoned the police and I hung on tight to the window and some of the other neighbours began kicking in my front door. When he realised what they were doing and that they were not going away he escaped out the back door and ran off.

After this attack I was taken to hospital and had my scalp glued back together and tons of x-rays however as the blows had been unexpected I had not tensed and was very lucky to have no bones broken.

He was arrested and charged the same night and was remanded in custody. Even after several bail attempts all were denied and he remained in custody until trial in January 2010.

The following months after this I had no choice but to sell my house for a reduced price in order to sell it quickly (I was terrified he would be let out and know where I was) I had tests and appointment to my attended for the damage I sustained to my elbow and I had months and months of counselling. I physically will always have a scar (thankfully with lots of thick hair no one can see it) although you can feel it. I have continued nerve damage to my right elbow which leaves me with regular pin and needles type feelings and I suffer with some Post Traumatic Stress (not all the time just little things that can trigger it)

It emerged after all this his probation worker should of informed the Social Services team and others of his presence in my home and they should of contacted me to support me, knowing what this man’s past had involved. I was just another government statistic in people that were let down by multiple departments and it could of cost me my life. I was supported my Womens Aid and I would of been lost without them.

My past is my past and it makes me who I am today, I am confident, independent and strong. I count my blessings every day and don’t take anything for granted. I know without the past I wouldn’t have what I have now so for that I thank you ex-boyfriend…. I have a perfect hubby and children and although we are not financially rolling in it we love each other and team Oliver is strong, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

* He received a 2 year prison sentence at Crown Court followed by a 2 year probation order for this attack.

(please note the pictures were taken 19 days after the attack)


A Hockey Good Time 

As some of you know from my recent posts, I am suffering with extra poundage from baby weight and yo yo dieting in previous years. This January I weighed in at a disgraceful 18 stone and with on-going problems with Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction that I had in my 2nd pregnancy I really really needed to shift some flab!

After uncontrollable sobbing in the middle of Boots while stood next to the scales I vowed to make changes I would stick too …

First change portion sizes, out went the serving platters we called dinner plates and in came a basic set of white smaller dinner plate…. Ok so that was easy!

Next was out with the takeaways 3 times a week and in with the healthier home cooking. Now I am not talking ‘Jamie Oliver’ standard this Jaime Oliver is not the best cook (I am still learning) but I don’t burn beans and if I can chuck it in a casserole dish and fill with veg, then there was hope for me! The whole family have tagged along for the ride!  I am not making 4 different meals every time as let’s face it there aren’t enough hours in the day anyway!

Next was the dreaded physical activity!

Now to say my confidence was at rock bottom would be an understatement! So I broke myself in gently and used my walks with my little man to start getting this fat ass off the sofa and out the door …step one complete … so one with step 2 … this is where it got harder I hate going to the gym so started doing Aqua Aerobics instead, although my motivation dwindled and I dropped out after a weeks or so …

After a few weeks of feeling very sorry for myself and eating my body weight in Greggs sausage rolls, Imagechocolate and blaming the SPD  for doing nothing, I got up from the sofa and started a Zumba class.. For those of you have haven’t been ………WOW ……. Now don’t get me wrong for the first few classes I went left and the rest of the class went right! (You certainly need to be able to giggle at yourself!)

I even increased to 2 sessions a week!! (Check me out!) But even after the first 6 pack of flab was gone my weight loss began to dwindle and I knew I had to up the ante to get it shifting again!

Now all the way through school I was obsessed with hockey and played every day and weekends for years, I played for local teams, county and my school, this was until I met boys, fags and hangovers in my late teens!

I have always dreamt of returning so now with a few stone off was it time to go back?? For a weeks I was going to go and find a team but my confidence was faltering but all it took was not getting that dreaded outfit on (you know the one I mean, the one in the wardrobe you love but it doesn’t fit but even so you just can’t face getting rid! ) … so confidence renewed and determination by the bucketful I got in touch with a local team and headed to training!

Now let me tell you I was in total confidence melt down at the first training session, the first task warm up’s! Now as you know I am built more for comfort not speed so the warm up jog almost killed me! 2 laps round the pitch (You what??????) I made the first half a lap and wasn’t quite sure if I was going to pass out or puke! (It’s at these times in my life I vow to stop smoking!) I tried to run and play with the rest of the team but my lack for physical exercise and stamina over the last 15 years really shined through!

After the first training session I can honestly say I was a useless mummy for the next 4 days!, I hurt in so many places I genuinely thought I had died and gone to hell (although I probably would of welcomed it at that stage!) surely nothing that is supposed to be good for you hurts this much!

I am pleased to say I am now 7 weeks into training and I am no longer in agony for 4 days, I am now playing matches on Saturday’s as well as training on Wednesday’s  and doing Zumba on Mondays and the weight is starting to shift again. I am really loving being part of a team and my confidence is now improving. I year ago I would of called you a liar if you had told me I would be doing all this!!

I have not yet reached my target weight loss although I am taking it a day at a time with no extra pressures, I have lost nearly 3 stones since January and I would like to lose another 3 before I go on holiday next June, I may not have a bikini body by then but hell I will certainly have one I can feel proud of!


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